I just like the indie thing. You guys know that before self-publishing, I was, and still am, an Etsy shop owner. Running your own little business takes time, work, and love, no matter what it is. Home party businesses come with their own challenges, but also their own rewards that often center around getting women together to share time, fun, and support.
This is my friend, Kristy. No, really, in real life. Sometimes we even meet up at the local indie coffee shop for beverages. I met her when our daughters were in Girl Scout Daisies last year. Kristy moved to the area during the school year and immediately took on the role of co-leader in the troop. Like me, Kristy is a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom who, unlike me, has three–count ’em–THREE children. In addition to her work as a Thirty-One Gifts consultant, she also cleans homes and businesses, and always manages to look great and act positive. And some how I manage not to hate her for it.
So here we are at my Thirty-One Gifts online party. Thirty-One is a bag business. Purses, tote bags, wallets, orgainzers… And I was like, “Kristttyyyy, I carry a ratty backpack and I like it. Can’t you be a comic book or video game consultant?” But being all about the sisterhood, I dragged myself out of the house and sucked up the social event trauma of going to her party. And ended up buying a whole bunch of stuff for my seven-year-old daughter, Briar.
Something you may not know about me? I’m totally a sucker for things that match.
So I thought I’d show you some pictures of things that I’ve bought from Kristy and how they make life better.
That’s Buzz Lighthorse sticking out of the Cinch Sac backpack. This is one of those bags that’s really nice to throw kids stuff in for daycamp, daycare, dance class, the pool, whatever.
The Organizing Shoulder Bag is nice. Lots of little pockets and a wide, adjustable strap. It wears well across the body. I got this for Briar because she likes to take her DS, its games, and little toys with her when we go out, but then she always expects someone else to carry and keep track of them. Or she sets them down randomly and forgets them. After I had to drive 30 miles out of my way one day, waste over an hour and a gallon of gas to go back to a store and retrieve a forgotten $1 but much beloved Happy Meal toy, I decided that it was time for girlfriend to start carrying a purse and learning to keep up with her own stuff. It’s going okay. I’m considering switching to this bag myself as it’s a little bigger than what I have currently.
And an umbrella that matches! Did I mention I have a thing for matching? And Briar’s got a thing for umbrellas.
Speaking of organizing Briar and teaching her better habits that I don’t have, here’s her “pick-up” bag. This is one of the Storage Totes. She (or, let’s face it, I) can walk around the house and put all the stuff she’s left lying around in this bag. It’s amazing how much neater the house looks after this one action that takes just a few minutes. Then the bag goes to Briar’s room to be unloaded. It’s also a nice, sturdy bag to grab and pack up toys for vacation or spending time with Grandma and Grandpa.
Since I got into FlyLady, I’ve gotten really into baskets. I think they’re great for containing, organizing, hiding clutter, and dealing with stuff when you just don’t have time to, you know, actually deal with it. Thirty-One bags are great for that, especially if the fabrics suit your home and style. (And if they don’t, there are some nice baskets in the catalog too.) Eventually I’d like to have Thirty-One bags for the three FlyLady decluttering bins of doom, personalized with Keep, Toss, Donate.
This is one of my favorite uses for Thirty-One. Sadly, this picture looks a lot better on my phone, but since I’m not going to text it to all of you, here it is. These are my shopping bags in a cart at Sams Club. You know how you go to the club store and maybe you find some suitable boxes to put your purchases in, but more than likely you come home with bulky packages all over your trunk and have to make several trips from the car to the house to get everything in? Here I’ve got all my cold purchases in the insulated Market Tote so they stay cold (I even brought a few ice packs from home because it was 100 degrees and the store is not close to my house). Other items go into my Large Utility Totes. When I get to the check-out, I can lift the whole bag onto the belt. The checker scans the items, and packs them right back into the bag. So I can even start organizing for putting the groceries away while I’m in the store.
One thing I’ll say about the Market Tote is–it’s insulated all right. Last weekend I made yeast rolls for a family reunion. I had 4 dozen of them in two big pans. Normally I just wrap the pans in a big towel and chuck them in the car. But I remember that I have this insulated bag now. So after letting the pans cool off for a few minutes, I slid them into the bag. It took us over an hour to get to the reunion, a comedy of errors I won’t even get into. When we got there, everyone was lining up for potluck. I unzipped the bag and one of my relatives reached in–and got burned! Oops. It never occurred to me that they’d stay that hot. Fresh, hot rolls were enjoyed by all and I had nothing to bring home but dirty dishes.
We also use this tote as a pool bag because it’s big, cute, and water resistant. And you can easily wipe it out before repurposing.
Here’s the item that we use most, and of course I didn’t get my own picture of it because it’s currently in use and with Briar at school. Briar’s Thermal Tote matches her other gear and has her name embroidered on the front. Perfect for school. We pack all meals, avoid disposables, and someone doesn’t want any of her food to touch. That’s a lot of little containers and those get bulky. This roomy thermal holds Briar’s breakfast, snack, and lunch. I usually have 9 separate containers and an ice pack in here. And when it’s not packed to capacity, it easily folds in on itself and doesn’t take up as much room in the backpack.
Any of you who have met me in person have probably peeked into my car and shrunk back in horror. It’s not good. Toys, papers, more toys and trash all over the place. Now my car desperately needs a vacuuming, but it’s looking at lot better these days, thanks to Kristy.
A Large Utility Tote, personalized with “Briar’s Stuff” holds all the toys she brings out and then leaves in the car. Plus the Happy Meal toys. OMG, the Happy Meal toys!! Now someone can actually sit back there with her. Plus it’s easy for us to pull the bag in every once in a while and put stuff away.
Also in that tote is the About Town Blanket. It’s fleece on one-side, wipe-able nylon on the other, and easily rolls into a neat little velcro-closing package with a handle. I’ve used this thing so many times, not only for a car blanket, but for throwing down on the ground at the park, taking into the movie theater, stuff like that.
This is my new purse. So I can act like a grown woman. The Pop Crossbody has an adjustable strap so herself the elf doesn’t have a purse hanging to her knees, cute plaid accents, and more pockets than I know what to do with.
This Mini Zipper Pouch is in one of the new, fall fabrics that coordinates with the plaid. It’s a makeup bag, clutch sized pouch that’s got my DS, charger, and games in it. I’m going to get one for Briar’s DS gear too. I think it would hold most of the handhelds I’ve seen, if you need to accessorize like an adult while playing games.
The rest of that stuff is all attached. Essentials Zip Wallet, cell phone, and keys are all attached to the Wristlet Key Fob. I won that as a door prize at my first Thirty-One party and didn’t think much of it. It is the most useful damned thing! The likelihood of me dropping my keys on the seat and then locking the car door (my car is old school) have decreased dramatically. Hanging from my wrist, my keys are near to hand, but I’m still hands-free. When you think about how many short trips you make between the car and anywhere with your kid and a bunch of other stuff and you just don’t need your whole purse full of life… It’s stupid to gush over a ribbon on a keyring, but I really like it.
Hey, did someone say door prize? Yeah, it’s a party, there should be a prize. I’ll draw a name from one of the people who places an order at my party, and I’ll get the winner a copy of Heroes ‘Til Curfew in some format. Maybe I’ll even come up with more prizes by the end of the month, but I definitely want to do that one. ETA: Now that I know the indie thing is a go and I’ve got the print version already in the works, the door prize will be signed copies of Hush Money and Heroes ‘Til Curfew. And maybe some other goodies.
So yeah, this party runs through August 30th. The reason for that end date is that currently, all items are on sale for 15% off until the end of the month and I want to make sure Kristy has an extra day to get everything submitted on time. You can start shopping by clicking here. There’s a Shop Now button below the event details which will take you into the shopping. There’s a tab at the top of the screen to view the catalog. When you see something you like, just go back to the shopping, search the item number, and add to cart. The 15% discount will show automatically.
Many items can be personalized. Personalization is an additional $7 per item and is not discounted. Items that can be personalized are marked in the catalog with various codes like E, Ws, and Le. Pages 46-47 of the catalog explain the codes–whether you can get one line, two lines, or just initials on that item–as well as show fonts, thread colors, and swatches of the fabrics.
If you are not local to me here in the Knoxville, TN area, please be sure you choose the option to have your items shipped to YOU. Otherwise they will ship to me and it will be a big mess. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’ll do my best and we’ll drag Kristy in to help.
It’s never too early to start putting things aside for Christmas, and a lot of these bags make great gift basket containers for showers, house/dormroom/apartment-warmings, office send-offs, and just about any other gift occasion you can think of. I hope you find something you like and thanks for coming to my party!
PS. It’s ROW80 day! I’m keeping up and working hard this week. Putting this together was a nice little break in all the work I’ve been doing for the Talent Chronicles news I hope to break on Friday. Hope everyone else is keeping up with their goals and having a great week.